Flexible optical intubation via the Ambu Aura-i vs blind intubation via the single-use LMA Fastrach: a prospective randomized clinical trial

J Clin Anesth. 2016 Sep;33:41-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinane.2016.01.002. Epub 2016 Apr 6.


Study objective: This study was designed to compare the Ambu Aura-i to the single-use LMA Fastrach regarding time to intubation, success rate, and airway morbidity in patients undergoing elective surgery requiring general anesthesia.

Design: Prospective, randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Academic medical center.

Patients: Sixty-five adult patients scheduled for elective surgery requiring general anesthesia.

Interventions: Patients were randomized into 2 groups. Group A (n=33) were intubated using Ambu Aura-i and the Ambu aScope 2, a disposable flexible intubating scope, whereas those in group B (n=33) were blindly intubated using the Intubating Laryngeal Mask Airway (ILMA).

Measurements: First-attempt intubation success rate, overall intubation success rate, time to intubation, incidence of airway morbidity.

Main results: The data demonstrated that time for endotracheal intubation in the ILMA group was significantly shorter than in the Ambu Aura-i group (P<.05). There was no difference in the first-attempt intubation success rate (Aura-i=26/33, 78.8%; ILMA=27/33, 81.8%; P=.757) or the overall intubation success rate (Aura-i=29/33, 87.9%; ILMA=31/33, 93.9%; P=.392) between the groups. Four patients (12%) in the Ambu Aura-i group had a failed intubation; 1 was due to a failure of the aScope monitor, whereas 3 were due to inability to visualize the glottis. Two patients (7%) in the ILMA group had a failed intubation due to esophageal intubation. There was no statistically significant difference in airway morbidity between the 2 groups.

Conclusions: The data suggest that intubation with the ILMA is faster but that first-attempt and overall intubation success rates were comparable in both groups. The results suggest that although the flexible intubating scope-guided Aura-i does not outperform blind intubation via the ILMA, the technique is comparable in terms of first-attempt and overall intubation success rate.

Keywords: Ambu Aura-I; Flexible scope intubation; LMA Fastrach.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anesthesia, General / methods
  • Disposable Equipment
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / adverse effects
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / instrumentation*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods
  • Laryngeal Masks* / adverse effects
  • Laryngoscopy / adverse effects
  • Laryngoscopy / instrumentation
  • Laryngoscopy / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult